The Hydropack is a small pouch that may be used to filter water in disaster situations, such as the Haiti earthquake, or the recent earthquake in Japan. Using a technology called forward osmosis, this small pouch is basically a membrane that lets in only water, rejecting even the harshest of contaminants. Filled with a syrup that contains calories and electrolytes, it also provides energy to malnourished disaster victims. Similar to a Capri Sun pouch, a straw is poked into the top when ready to drink.
Pros? It is less taxing on the environment than bottled water, since the pouches are small. Still, it is unclear (at least, to me) how the membranes are disposed of, once used, or if and how they may be recycled.
Cons? According to this video, the Hydropack takes twelve hours to work its magic. To supply clean water to an entire community, hundreds of pouches would have to be left overnight in a large body of water.
It may not be the most sustainable solution to the third world clean water crisis, but for disaster situations, it does provide a slightly better alternative to bottled water. What do you think? Is this the best emergency water filter you’ve seen?